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Media Release

Northern Ontario School of Medicine and Stanford University Partner on 3-D iAnatomy Collaboration

 Earlier today, the Northern Ontario School of Medicine (NOSM) announced a 3-D iAnatomy collaboration with California’s Stanford University School of Medicine that will transform the way medical education is taught and learned.

This unprecedented collaboration will use ORION (Ontario Research and Innovation Optical Network) advanced networking technology and Stanford’s vast collection of stereoscopic images of human anatomy to allow faculty and students to view and manipulate high-definition, three-dimensional anatomical representations.

Dr. David Topps, NOSM’s Director of E-Learning notes that this collaboration is significant for Canada’s newest medical school as it further strengthens NOSM’s gaining momentum as a leader in the field of remote and distance learning. “Active learning is always more effective than passive learning,” says Dr. Topps. “Interactive exploration, peeling away layer after virtual layer, is a very engaging way to learn. Students learn better by interacting with models regardless of where they are.”

Medical students currently learn anatomy largely from textbooks, static models and by acquiring surgical skills as an apprentice to a trained surgeon. The iAnatomy collaboration, however, consolidates anatomical knowledge into one multimedia, interactive server in order to improve the way medical students learn.

With the aid of stereo-viewing instruments, students will be able to view hyper-realistic anatomy, and be able to participate in and lead sessions involving multiple users in different locations over the network.

Dr. Roger Strasser, NOSM’s Founding Dean, shares Dr. Topps’ excitement. ”This first collaboration with a world renowned university such as Stanford confirms our confidence in the importance of advanced technology to distance learning. The 3-D iAnatomy initiative demonstrates how advanced technology is leading the way in medical education.”

Dr. Parvati Dev, Director of Stanford University Medical Media and Information Technologies (SUMMIT), explains that, “Digital anatomy supports rich real-time interaction and collaborative learning efforts while helping to showcase rich sources of digital images.”

Through this collaboration, NOSM will use Dr. David Bassett’s collection of images that he developed in the 1950s and 1960s in a process that involved cadaver dissections and photography at Stanford University (http://ianatomy.stanford.edu). The Bassett Collection is considered by many to be the most comprehensive collection of medical images. For medical schools such as NOSM, which do not use cadavers in their education programs, access to this well known collection of labeled and annotated stereoscopic images of the human anatomy is highly desirable.

Other speakers featured at the event included Dr. Robert A. Chase (Emile Holman Professor of Surgery Emeritus and past Chairman of the Department of Surgery and Anatomy at Stanford University School of Medicine, and Curator of the Bassett Collection), Phil Baker (President & CEO of ORANO-ORION), and Ed Brown (President of Ontario Telemedicine Network).

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The Northern Ontario School of Medicine is committed to the education of high quality physicians and health professionals, and to international recognition as a leader in distributed, learning-centered, community-engaged education and research. 

Kimberley Larkin
Communications Officer
Phone: 705-662-7243
Email: klarkin@nosm.ca 


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